Community Engagement Engine & THATCamp-Gainesville

THATCamp-Gainesville 2016As noted in my last post, I’m hoping to see loads of folks at THATCamp-Gainesville this Saturday, April 23, at the Santa Fe College CIED Center downtown.
There, I’m hoping to talk to folks about loads of exciting work, including the newly released Community Engagement Engine (CEE). The images here on the CEE were developed by Brian W. Keith, who is the PI on the CEE project, and Lourdes Santamaria-Wheeler and I are co-PIs. The text below is by all three of us.  I’m excited to be part of the project team which also includes fabulous UFIT!
The images depict first how users did interact with exhibits, and now the additional information and communication flows thanks to the CEE.
CEE_infographic_Page_1 CEE_infographic_Page_2
The CEE was developed because libraries host exhibitions and speakers to promote collections and engage communities. The UF Libraries deployed CEE with innovative technologies to connect librarians and patrons through exhibits and speakers to enhance research, learning, and communication. Previously, patrons attending an exhibit or presentation benefited from the experience. However, they often did not have an opportunity to ask questions, share comments, request more information, or be further engaged. In 2015, UF developed the new open source Community Engagement Engine (CEE) for iPads (handheld and kiosks) for use in exhibit and presentation spaces. Now, visitors may submit questions and comments in an unmediated and unfiltered process. This interaction allows the visitor to receive, by automated, graphic-intense email, additional relevant materials, such as speaker slides, digitized primary source documents, or readings and multimedia files, which are selected by the exhibit curator or speaker to increase the learning impact for further engagement with the library.  Additionally, visitors may register to receive updates about the subject area of interest; for example announcements of new acquisitions, or notices of future speaker events or exhibits. Importantly, CEE allows libraries to aggregate and organize patron contact information to develop specific communities of interest. These communities can be oriented by geography, subject matter, etc.  This enables targeted outreach, development, and assessment by tracking attendance metrics and audience demographics. CEE offers a case study of innovation for community engagement, and it is available  for other institutions that may be interested in deploying CEE for their own needs.
Try the CEE!
See and test the CEE, with this registration/sign-in form that I created for folks who I meet with and as a test example:
Notice that this has a signin with a Gatorlink (for ease for UF folks) or a “click here” to enter name information. Then, you can enter comments and questions. When you do so, you get an automatic email (and I get a copy) with information that I pre-set.
Administrative Interface for the CEE
Community Engagement Engine (CEE) Admin Interface
This is technologically simple. What’s then great is the administrative setup interface, where I can easily create a new event (which can be an exhibit, place, or other). Administrative users like me enter:

  • Title
  • Device Handler (if an iPad is being signed out; the CEE is set up as an iPad kiosk or for handing around with a card swipe using the GatorOne cards)
  • Event Contacts (Core Curator or multiple Curators)
  • Start and End Dates
  • Use Case (defines if the questions are just sign-on, with comments, and more, including the new survey functionality which is in development for phase 2)
  • Files (rotating images in the background)
  • Count (number of people who have used it)

There are other fields including description and tags, which come up when clicking on a specific event entry. Then, there are the download tabs to download a CSV of all of the exhibits/events in the system (or all when already filtered, as they are now with my search for my name), and a tab to download all of the responses/comments for one or more exhibits. This is awesome. Moving from not having a way to track, aside from printed guest books where people handwrite their information, the CEE allows us to capture great data, and to then immediately have an automated email go to users.There are other tools and ways to do this, but the CEE offers a lightweight approach with an easy to use tool for users, Curators, and Administrators. This is already in use at UF, with it being so easy to deploy and integrate into existing workflows.